Tonight, at 9pm CT, the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers are holding a “Futures Game” at Sloan Park. This isn’t The All-Star Future Game that you may be familiar with, but tonight’s game is cut from the same cloth – young prospects from both teams face off and get a chance to show their skills.
According to the Cubs’ press release, part of the Cubs proceeds from tonight’s game will benefit the Cubs Charities Diamond Project. The Rangers will also be donating a portion of their revenue to the Dane McDonald Safe at Home Foundation.
Per Carrie Muskat, some familiar faces will be pitching for the Cubs’ youngsters tonight, with Corey Black starting and C.J. Edwards coming on in relief. Both pitchers had solid years in 2014 and ranked well on many of the offseason top prospects lists. It’s possible that both pitchers will see time in the big league bullpen in 2015, so it’s fun to get as many looks at them as possible before the season starts and they are sent to the minors.
Here’s the Cubs’ lineup, for this evening:
- Jacob Hannemann, RF
- Albert Almora, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, C
- Dan Vogelbach, 1B
- Christian Villanueva, 3B
- Billy McKinney, LF
- Mark Zagunis, DH
- Daniel Lockhart, 2B
- Carlos Penalver, SS
While the biggest names aren’t involved – a couple of them were in big league camp until today – there’s still plenty of prospect intrigue there. Here’s hoping that Almora continues his nice spring and Schwarber continues to look passable behind the plate. I’m wondering if the McKinney in LF/Almora in CF configuration will play out for much of the year at AA Tennessee, as well. For the rest of the players that could join in later in the game, look here.
As for the Rangers, 23 year-old righty, Alex Gonzalez will start and be relieved by 21 year-old lefty, Andrew Faulkner (per Evan Grant). Both pitchers throw hard and finished last season at AA Frisco. Gonzalez, the higher valued prospect, was the number five overall prospect for the 2015 Rangers, according to MLB Pipeline, though Faulkner isn’t too far behind him (17), himself. The organization’s top three position prospects – third baseman Joey Gallo, catcher Jorge Alfaro and outfielder Nomar Mazara – are expected to appear as well.
If you’re in the area, you can purchase tickets for just $6 at the park or online at www.sloanpark.com. The game doesn’t seem to be televised, but feel free to use this post as a game thread for any game-related comments or thoughts, to the extent you become aware of them.